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Higher Positive Cardiomyopathy Genetic Detection Rates for Whites

Higher positive detection rate and lower rate of inconclusive results vs. underrepresented minorities

MONDAY, March 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Compared with underrepresented minorities, white individuals have significantly higher positive detection rates and lower rates of inconclusive results on cardiomyopathy genetic testing, according to a study published online Feb. 28 in JAMA Cardiology.

Latrice G. Landry, Ph.D., from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in Silver Spring, Md., and Heidi L. Rehm, Ph.D., from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, conducted a cross-sectional analysis of the genetic panel test results for 5,729 probands with a suspected diagnosis or family history of cardiomyopathy who had been referred for testing. The results were stratified into three categories: white (79.2 percent), Asian (6.1 percent), and underrepresented minorities (14.7 percent).

The researchers found that positive detection occurred in 29 percent of white individuals compared with 18.4 and 25 percent of underrepresented minorities and Asians, respectively (P < 0.001 and P = 0.12, respectively). Inconclusive results were seen in 24.6 percent of whites compared with 39.8 and 39.2 percent of underrepresented minorities and Asians, respectively (both P < 0.001).

“This clear disparity warrants further study to understand the gaps in usefulness, which may derive from a lack of clinical testing and research in underrepresented minority populations, in the hopes of improving genetic testing outcomes for cardiomyopathy in nonwhite groups,” the authors write.

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